Tata Motors has made a huge image makeover in the past 3 years and has helped the OEM slowly gain market share which it had previously lost. Tata Motors in now currently challenging the No.3 Spot in the Top 3 OEMs and is progressively strengthening its hold. So what exactly changed in the recent years for Tata Motors that allowed Tata Motors in the path of regaining its lost glory –
- Project HorizoNext – Way back in 2013, Tata initiated HORIZONEXT, a four-pronged customer-focused strategy to provide the best customer experience — from best vehicle experience to superlative purchase experience and followed by technology-intense after market service support. Tata Motors products were reeling with Quality-related issues and the Dealership Service Experience was nothing but a nightmare. The HORIZONEXT helped the OEM to work on improving its overall quality levels of the products/new launches and also elevate the dealership interaction experience.
- Shift from Taxi Segment – Tata’s Indica & Indigo duo which were the mainstay of the OEMs volumes during 2010-2014 was slowly deteriorating the brand’s acceptance amongst personal usage buyers. The company had sought to bring about a change in its brand positioning from an automaker that makes cars for commercial operations like taxis to an automaker who makes cars for personal use. As of today; apart from Zest/Bolt none of the OEMs models are offered in Taxi segment. Tata Motors has completely shifted focus from the Taxi segment and even the upcoming line of products are bound to cater to personal usage buyers (Harrier, 45X).
- Shooing away from the ‘cheap’ tag – The lesson was learnt from its most ambitious project – Nano. Touted as the world’s cheapest car, did not live up to the expectations in spite of several makeovers and its production was recently halted citing low volumes. Post Nano; none of the new launches carried the ‘cheap’/’cheapest’ tag in the segment. Rather segment-best features were marketed as the USPs (Ex: Harman Music system which was earlier available in high end cars were featured in Zest/Tiago).
- JLR Support – Jaguar Land Rover’s support in product development has helped Tata Motors to bring a vast improvement in the quality of products introduced in the recent times. It was told that Tata had taken a lot of cues from JLR while designing the Hexa and a lot of JLR pedigree shall be seen in upcoming SUV Harrier as well.
- Expanding Market Base – With Hexa & Nexon; Tata marked its entry to bigger MUVs & Compact SUVs space. Tata Motors current portfolio of products does not cater to the premium hatches, vans, bigger sedans, larger SUVs segment. However, the future lineup of products shall enable Tata Motors make its presence felt in these segments. By 2019, with a string of new products in the aforementioned segments, Tata Motors hopes to cover 95 per cent of the market!
- Improved Customer Engagement – Tata Motors has taken huge stride in terms of engaging its customers online and also support the customer communities accordingly. Ex: A bunch of Tata Nexon Owners have joined together and formed ‘The Nexon Tribe’ and is organizing get together drives/meets and the same is backed by Tata Motors. Such associations will further enhance the brand association and loyalty of the customers.
- Enhanced Dealership Network – Currently Tata has ~650 outlets. The OEM is targeting 1500 outlets by 2020. With the expansion Tata is trying to enhance the customer experience as well in these touch points.
With all these efforts this could well be the strongest comeback in the history of the Indian car industry. However, there is one model which has stood the test of time and has evolved as the biggest enabler in terms of Tata Motors comeback – TIAGO. 1,84,278 units of Tiago’s have been sold in the past 32 months and has contributed to ~40% of Tata’s volumes in this timeline.
- Tiago’s contribution to the OEMs volumes have increased over the past 2 years and the averages too have shot upto ~8k units/mth in 2018 (v/s 6k units/mth in 2017).
- Tiago has achieved this feat by overcoming some strong competition in its segment (namely Kwid, Celerio, etc) and is unseen in the industry to see a Brand increase its yearly average post 2-years of its launch!
- Tiago was also instrumental in helping Tata Motor’s leverage its platform to bring compact sedan Tigor. Though Tigor hasn’t seen significant volumes; the recent facelift may just help it gain the required momentum.
- Offlate; Tiago is also seeing a jump in its ranking in the Top selling cars list (recently in Sep’18, it ranked 12th)
Tiago has proven its worth over time and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it has played an extremely significant role in terms of helping Tata Motors revive its brand identity and also elevated the parent as a serious challenger in the fight for the Top 3 OEMs!